By Sourabh Kulesh
Mumbai, Aug 9 - Reiterating the commitment to make its customers and partners digitally efficient to help them achieve global competitiveness, software major SAP India on August 9 announced it will skill, reskill and upskill 1.5 million SAP consultants within the next three years.
"The Indian economy is growing and the way customers are adapting and adopting the technology is changing with it. There is a massive boom in e-payments and e-commerce," Anthony McMahon, Senior Vice President, General Business (SME) and Channels, SAP Asia Pacific Japan, said at the annual 'Partner Summit 2017'.
"Our aim is to bring in an influx of skilled consultants to increase the capabilities of our partners and customers and grow the ecosystem of experts," he added.
According to the company, after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll-out and 'Digital India' initiative, the over 51-million small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country will have to scale up their technology infrastructure.
To enable transition to a digital platform, enterprises will require experts and SAP, with its programmes and initiatives, will provide expertise to fulfil this digital gap, the company said.
Currently, an estimated two lakh SAP consultants thrive within SAP India partner ecosystem, which contributes approximately $8 billion in revenues.
Over 320 Indian universities and education institutes are members of SAP university alliance programme, under which more than three million students have been introduced to SAP technologies.
On a question of the problems faced by SAP India in imparting digital expertise to its customers, McMahon said: "We spent a lot of time in educating our partners about the technology and functional capability of the solutions. We also needed to have a business conversation to bring out transformation for the customers. We realised that we had to make this change."
SAP India also launched 'Partner Packaging Factory', an industry-first online initiative that aggregates end-to-end SAP packages developed by partners.
"SAP 'Partner Packaging Factory' opens up an exciting new customer engagement opportunity for our partners," McMahon added.
Earlier this year, Deb Deep Sengupta, President and Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent, said that to become digital, MSMEs need to adopt strong tech-enabled business models and processes to make them more efficient and achieve global competitiveness.
To help MSMEs transform digitally, SAP India has signed an MoU with the Ministry of MSME to launch "Bharat ERP" programme to empower 30,000 MSMEs and youth in three years.
In this programme, MSMEs are already receiving training and enablement courses on SAP 'Business One' solution -- an all-in-one enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
MSMEs are utilising cutting edge, next-generation technology from SAP to streamline and integrate key processes such as financials, sales, inventory and more -- with a single business software.
The SME sector is the fastest growth driver for SAP globally. From over 8,800 SAP customers in the subcontinent, over 6,700 companies are SMEs.
Started in 1996, SAP India with over 11,000 employees is the second-largest subsidiary and one of the fastest-growing companies within SAP worldwide.
SAP has more than 600 partners in various geographies, including Global Service Partners like Wipro, TCS, HCL, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Larson and Toubro.
"SAP India's aim is to accelerate India's digital plan of enabling 60 million citizens on digital technologies by 2019," Sengupta noted.
SAP India had also launched 'GST in a Box' and 'Digital Compliance Service for GST -- a Cloud-based online application which will leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help businesses become digitally sound.